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  You could have a big dipper   

In the queue for breakfast on the postnatal ward by Katie Oliver

we shuffle forward one by one, a slow procession

towards sustenance.

There is a man in front of me, relaxed

wearing pool sliders. I wait for him

to finish and when he is gone

I realise that he has taken the last piece of toast

the last piece of toast

and before you say it

well he could just be getting breakfast for his partner

he’s not, because he takes a fucking bite out of it

so you can shove that particular hypothesis up your arse

I stand there, barefoot

in my hospital gown, flapping open at the back

Tena Lady nappy poking out the gap

while a ravenous crowd swells behind me

and as I take up a knife from the cutlery rack

I know there’s not a jury in the land

who’d convict me.


Katie Oliver has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Bath Flash Award and most recently the Short Fiction/University of Essex Wild Writing Prize. She has further work published in various places including Reflex Fiction, Molotov Cocktail, X-R-A-Y and Dust Poetry, and is a first reader for Forge Literary Magazine and Tiny Molecules. She can be found on Twitter @katie_rose_o

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